BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A woman is fighting back in a costly parking lot war waging in the Queen City.
More and more parking lots downtown are dropping their parking attendants and replacing them with machines, which seems to be adding to the confusion for drivers. But some parking lot operators are leaving no room for error. And if something goes wrong, you pay dearly.
Yvette Hicks found herself stranded with three small kids when her car was booted in a Pay2Park parking lot last month. Hicks says she tried paying to park, but the machine would not accept her money, and she did not have a credit card. She had to pay $100 to have the boot removed.
Hicks went to Small Claims Court to get her money back. She accuses the parking lot operator, Pay2Park, of overcharging her, and she named Mark Croce, a high profile developer in Buffalo, in her claim.
But an attorney representing Pay2Park told the court that Croce has nothing to do with the parking lots, and the case was postponed until next month.
"Richard," who says he was booted at the Pay2Park lot across from the Buffalo casino last month, also took his case to Small Claims Court. Richard says he also had to pay $100 to have the boot removed, despite being away from his car for no more than 45 minutes.
He argued before the court that the Pay2Park signs don't conform to city code, and he is not alone. Drivers have complained that the Pay2Park signs look like they are saying $2 to park, and even the hearing officer found the Pay2Park logo confusing.
Buffalo's parking code requires private lot operators to post signs near each entrance conspicuously and visible from the street naming the licensee, hours of operation, and the rates charged.
"They should show the pay rate or the charge, the daily charge, the hourly charge, the weekly charge. It shows nothing," Richard said.
And this time, when the question of who controls Pay2Park came up, attorney Chanel McCarthy conceded Mark Croce does have a financial interest in the company, prompting the hearing officer to comment about the defense team's tactics, which the hearing officer called a "legal shell game."
We called Pay2Park and Croce to get a clarification of his relationship with the parking company, which goes under the corporate name, Skydeck Corporation. But none of our calls have not been returned.
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